2016 goals

Early Christmas camellia
My tiny camellia in the front yard.

Mom instilled in us the annual tradition of goal-setting, and although we tend to approach it more loosely now, I still feel like I can’t start a new year without some vague ambitions.

Assessment of last year’s goals:

  1. Read 120 books. Read 152.
  2. Continue the pursuit of minimalism and eschewing clutter in my approach to our home and my wardrobe, specifically. This is a continual pursuit, but I feel pretty happy with what I accomplished, by way of throwing things out and taking care of what I have. 
  3. Invest in higher-quality and ethically made clothes and shoes. Stop buying cheap crap. Jump off the fast-fashion train. I also feel like I’ve done this; I am no longer tempted by Target T-shirts and Old Navy sweaters.
  4. Style myself like a French woman, as much as it is within my power. Maybe? I’m going to say yes. I don’t wear bright colors anymore, and stripes are the only pattern I don.
  5. Take either a Japanese or a French class, for credit. Maybe both, if I’m feeling extra-ambitious. Fail. I still want to do this, though.
  6. Eat healthier lunches. Maybe. I am very lazy about this still.
  7. Figure out how to read the Bible for pleasure. Not really, but we are in a Bible study now, and that has been enjoyable.
  8. Practice morning prayer/meditation/timid yoga sessions at home on weekdays. Nope, but I am taking a yoga class once a week, which is a big deal for me.

2016 Goals

  1. Continue the pursuit of minimalism at home.
  2. Achieve and practice some basic conversational French before we leave for London. Keep up with my Duolingo practice; take some pronunciation lessons with friends who are French PhD candidates; watch an abundance of French film in the Criterion Collection.
  3. Read through and translate the entire book of Japanese short stories. Keep listening to the audio of it while driving. Keep making your brain sweat and weep for all that it has forgotten over the years.
  4. Be a better dog owner and housekeeper; mainly, groom them once a week and wipe their paws every day; keep working on their leash reactivity; train them more thoroughly. Figure out how to keep your floors clean so that you do not live in domestic misery.
  5. Write that thing that’s been rattling around in my brain for years. Share it with a select few for editing and criticism.
  6. Keep doing yoga, even though I hate it; get stronger, more flexible.

What are your goals for the new year?


15 thoughts on “2016 goals

    1. Ugh, seriously. I think two big dogs just make it nigh impossible to have clean floors. I’ve been a little better about wiping their feet, but I essentially have to sweep and spot-mop daily for them to look even mildly OK… le sigh!

      1. Hi Abby–I love your blog and follow it. I am going to ask a silly question and hope you can help. What am I doing wrong. I had 73 viewers on one of my posts but no comments or “likes” I am obviously blocking people and it is the same problem on all of my post. Tons of viewers but no likes or comments. WP can’t help me and I’m stumped. can you? Thanks, Act 3, Trudy

  1. I’m wondering if you have a specific plan for minimalism? I desperately want to simplify.. My house is a constant wreck, and I do mean constant. I know I have a bunch of little kids, blah blah, but there are plenty of people with kids whose houses don’t look like mine. Anyway, would love to hear how you go about it.
    I’m a bit late to the party, but I’m reading the Marie Kondo book right now. Lots of what she says resonates with me, especially her ruthless, non-sentimental approach to material things.

    1. Yes! I’m a huge Kondo fan. It really does work. I implemented her structure for my clothes last year, and they are still as “tidy” and folded as they were the day I did it. The ruthlessness is essential. Going forward, I want to buy less this year and take care of/use what we actually have. I have a passion for tidying now! It’s all-consuming.

    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment. Reading is one of my main hobbies, and I read during meals (if eating alone), in the evenings on weekdays, and on the weekends. I think I also tend to be a rather fast reader, which also helps with quantity. But I’d like to get more serious about the quality of my reading, too, and perhaps slow down a bit and really soak things in. Good luck, and have fun!

  2. First, congrats on reading 152books! I am still figuring out how to make time for reading, it looks like there aren’t enough hours in the day.
    I can relate to some of those goals. Language learning is a big part of my life, I am working on my English, blogs are awesome for that! I am French so if you ever have a question or whatever, I’d be glad to help 🙂 I had a similar goal regarding Japanese but I gave up on the language after I got back from Kyoto last year, so it’s forever gone, I’ll never translate the Harry Potter series for fun. Do you really hate yoga? I’ve been practicing for 6 years, even though my beloved teacher left so currently it’s down to a personal morning routine.
    I am still working on my 2016 goals, so many things, so little time!

    1. Bonjour, Donna! Thank you for your comment. It sounds like our interests intersect in many places! I may just send you a French language-learning question; thanks for the offer! Japanese is so demanding. I have studied it loosely since I was about 10, and I studied it at university, so I’d hate to lose it, but it’s very difficult to maintain when no one around you speaks it. “Hate” is probably a strong word for yoga. “Feel intimidated by” yoga is probably the more accurate term. I’m so impressed that you’ve been practicing for six years. Bonne chance!

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  4. Abby, looks like you have put quite some thought into these goals. Thats a good start to 2016. Reading 152 books?? That is what I would want to make my 2016 goal but I doubt I will be able to to fulfill it. Well done!!

  5. Hey Abby!
    I like the way you write your goals of the year, I think mine is deficient in details. But what I like the most is how you look back at last year’s list and take time to think about what you achieved, and what is not that important anymore. I feel like I could have written most of your goals on my own list and to invest on higher quality and ethically made clothes has been my challenge for the past 5 years. I do wonder why you want to keep practicing yoga if you don’t take pleasure in doing it. Isn’t there lots of other ways of connecting to your body and your soul, of keeping you in shape and working your muscles other than yoga?! Bonne année 2016!

  6. Nice post. I particularly liked the Bible Study thing, it was something I was trying to do but it was harder that I thought. Maybe it will be easier if in a group.

    I’m also studying French by my own. Duolingo is a nice app, but it’s too vague. I tried the “immersion” and I totally recommend it. To read books in French and listen to radios AM/FM from France even if I don’t understand a thing. This way the brain learns to get used to a new language, the pronunciation and grammar.

    Keep it up! 🙂

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